After an incredibly warm autumn, there’s no doubt that winter has well and truly arrived here in Sydney. With the cold winds and shorter days, you will have felt your energy change and draw inward over the past few weeks.
As I spoke about in this blog post, the season of winter is our nighttime. This time of deep rest allows complete healing and rejuvenation, so we burst into spring whole, fresh, vibrant and full of life.
We step back, slow down, and start to embrace solidarity.
As we slow down, we become more aware; we notice things we haven’t previously, and we are more in tune with our emotions.
Use this time, and the cover of winter darkness, as an opportunity to connect deeply and to explore your inner world. Start to strengthen your connection to your intuition; the innate wisdom that is present in all of us, the wisdom we have been taught to ignore. What do we most need to move forward in our lives? Are we living on purpose, and if not, what can we do to start aligning ourselves?
Can you find 10 minutes every day to commit to a meditation practise? Maybe 5 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes again at night? Sit still, breathe deeply, and just feel what’s going on inside you. Can you feel your heart beating in your chest? Can you feel your blood flowing through your veins? Leant to just ‘be’. No objective, no outcome, no agenda, just be still and focus on your body and your breath.
If you’re new to mediation, you might find this really challenging (I definitely did!), however there are thousands of mediation tracks and tools you can download to help you. I personally love this one from Deepak Chopra, as you can personalise your experience. No excuses now, little one!
If you haven’t already, begin your daily journaling practice, and use this as a way to ‘check in’ with whatever is going on for you. If you – like me a few years ago – own lots of beautiful journals but haven’t found it in yourself to actually write something in them, use the following questions as a guide;
- What is the biggest thing on my mind right now?
- What do I need to do about that?
- How did I feel today and why?
- What are these feelings here to teach me?
- What were my thoughts today?
- Where am I not loving myself?
- Where am I loving myself?
- What does my most vulnerable part need right now?
- What 3 things am I most grateful for today?
Set yourself a goal of 3-5 pages per day and keep going until you’ve filled them up. You might find it a little challenging at first, but stick with it, and the words will soon start to flow.
Winter is also a fantastic time to do, or re-do, your vision board. Grab a group of friends, a stack of magazines, scissors, cardboard and glue, and start cutting! Collect images of all the things you want for yourself and your life for the next 6-12 months, make a beautiful collage and hang it up where you can see it everyday.
Our exercise program will inevitably slow down now; but it’s important to not become lazy. Find fun, gentle ways to move your body everyday; hot yoga is awesome at this time of year, or grab a jacket, a girlfriend and get out for a walk.
Include plenty of soups, stews, roasts and curries, as our bodies crave the warmth and nourishment these foods bring. I currently have lamb shanks cooking away in my slow cooker, cannot wait for dinner!
The increased cold can lead us to overdo it on coffee as we crave that heat and caffeine buzz, however this only depletes our adrenals and leads to fatigue, anxiety and exhaustion. Instead sip on hot ginger and lemon tea, or indulge in a decadent hot chocolate made with real cacao, maca, mixed spice and maple syrup. I like to add some fresh or dried chili for an extra kick!
Many people tend to use the cold as an excuse to overeat, so be aware of this desire and tendency. When you feel that, before you throw something in your mouth, ask yourself;
“What am I really hungry for?”
You might find you are craving warmth, love, connection or affection rather than actual food. If that’s the case, acknowledge it and find a way to give that to yourself, rather than stuffing it down with food or drink.
Taking the time to slow down and turn inwards now will set you up for an amazing spring and summer. Give that gift to yourself.